Wednesday, March 09, 2016

A long overdue update.

I've done a lot since my last post.

The car is now all one colour. I ended up having to get more paint from ebay after I'd cleared out all the local motor factors of Russett.
The new brushes didn't solve my alternator problem so I bought a brand new one. I finally swapped the SE wheels for the correct early Dolomite steel wheels along with the stainless hub caps. I replaced the exhaust tailpipe, fixed the loose steering column adjustment clamp, replaced one of the hinges on the driver's door, swapped the door mirror, replaced the radio aerial, revarnished the door cappings, repainted the headlining with vinyl silk emulsion and fitted a pair of shelf speakers. I've also changed to super unleaded and it has made a big difference to how the car runs. It is so much more responsive so it is definitely worth the extra it costs. I might even use it in the Astra as well.
In November, the driveplate broke which necessitated removal of the engine.
Fortunately, I had the use of a garage and an engine crane which enabled me to get a replacement fitted.

The distributor cap broke so that had to be replaced. I bought a Britpart cap from Rimmer Bros and it looks a bit more substantial then the old one.

Another part of the exhaust was blowing so I've bit the bullet and ordered a full stainless steel exhaust from the Triumph Dolomite Club. The £280 it has cost me is a bit hard to swallow but is excellent value and will probably outlast the car. The coolant temperature sender failed and I bought a new one from Ropsort via their ebay listing. The fusebox was playing up so I've fitted an MGB one so I now have twice as many fuses. Luxury! To prevent the new fusebox gong the same way I've sprayed the exposed terminals with white grease which should keep the corrosion at bay.

This is what happened to one of my HT leads and with the rest looking similarly ropey I'm going to order the Magnecor 7mm leads. The TDC offer a discount to members and they come with a 10 year guarantee. In the meantime, I've replaced the offending HT lead to keep me going.

I've refurbished my steel wheels. I had use of the garage again and with access to heat they have come out quite well. Here are the before and after photos.

This is how I did it.
I used U-Pol primer and Halfords steel wheel paint. I warmed the paint beforehand and used a heat gun to speed up drying of the paint.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Even more work done.

I've managed to get some more paint on the offside A-post and the nearside D-post.

I can't do any more until I can get some more Russett paint and the local Halfords is out of stock (I must've cleared them out of Russett!). I've managed to get some of the white paint off the nearside rear door.

The car wasn't running quite right so I swapped the carburettors. It was idling better but was still the same. I swapped the carbs twice more. The car was changing up late so checked the fluid level in the autobox and it needed topping up. During the last carb swap I adjusted the kickdown cable and it has improved things. Next, the alternator decided to stop working. New bushes and a clean-up of the connections to the rectifier seems to have fixed it.

I've finally banished the alloy wheels which are forever losing air. Somebody was offering a set of steel wheels for free in the Merseyside area so I snapped them up. They turned out to be SE wheels which wasn't what I was after but they were too good to pass up. I'm that desperate to stop constantly pumping up the tyres every couple of days. Dragging out the compressor is becoming a pain.
Only one of them needed the tyre replacing. I put the best 3 on the car and my spare wheel which is the correct type has gone on the car.
You can see the difference between the normal Dolomite wheel on the front and the SE wheel (similar to the Spitfire & GT6) on the rear. I know somebody who has a set of the correct wheels so I can do a swap because they're on one of his cars and doing the swap keeps his car rolling and I get exactly what I want. I also have a set of Sprint carburettors which I collected for him. He'd bought them on ebay and the seller was local to me so I offered to pick them up. The tyres look like they're holding pressure so I can live with the SE wheels for now.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

More work done.

More work done.

I had a plastic tray underneath the battery. When the car went into the garage for the work doing the tray was taken out and not put back when the new battery was fitted. This gave me an opportunity to clean it up before putting it back on. I also painted the battery clamp with a coat of etch primer and a topcoat of gloss black. It has smartened it up.

The next part of the car to get painted was the driver's door and the offside sill.
I also painted the D post in satin black to tidy it up and protect the primer. The vinyl will be glued on at a later stage.
I ended up swapping the carburettors. Once they'd been fitted, adjusted and balanced the engine was idling a lot better than before. I've attached the airbox support bracket and the carbs don't sag any more. I will still be fitting sold carb mounts but I won't need them anytime soon.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

More miles clocked up, a carburettor problem and some paint.

I've clocked up some more trouble-free miles. I've done 3 club meetings and a show. The car handles like it should and there's no skittishness at the front which is testament to the garage which did the work (CDK Motors). I'm having a problem with an erratic idle. Part of the problem is due to the cracked carb mounts which I want to replace with solid ones which are available from the Triumph Dolomite Club. I've dug out my spare set of carburettors out of the loft and I'm considering fitting them. I'd like to replace the HT leads as well because I can't remember the last time I did it.

Moving on to the paint, I bought a 300ml aerosol of Russett from my local Halfords and I have now got the offside rear door painted.



It is definitely an improvement and it will do until I can get a proper respray. There are a few bodywork issues that need to be dealt with before I can consider a respray.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

A decision on the paint.

This is what the Dolomite currently looks like. It really needs a proper respray but there are a few bodywork issues such as the dent in the offside rear wing which needs the filler taking out (a replacement panel is only available secondhand from a scrap car) and the dent pulling out. I don't want to leave it like it is so I'll get a few rattle cans which should tidy it up a bit until I can get it sorted out properly. I went out to Bramley for the local TDC area meeting (I'm the Area Organiser) on Tuesday and the car didn't put a foot wrong. Tomorrow I'll be going a bit further afield to the local Club Triumph meeting. I was absolutely loath to go any great distance the way the car was before I had the subframe mounts repaired and this will be stretching the car a bit more. There's the TDCIR on Sunday so it will be good to get some miles clocked up before then.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Made a start on my new job list.

I can remember many moons ago a pearl of wisdom that was imparted to me by a tyre fitter. Before I get the front wheel alignment done, I should put some miles on the car to settle the steering and suspension. I ended up putting 10 miles on the car and the steering was as bad as before. I needn't have worried because when I went to the local tyre place that I use, they put their equipment on it and it was way out by 25mm. After it had been adjusted, the steering was much better so it was worth every penny of the £15 it cost me.

I've managed to free off the choke cable. I undid the end of the cable and ran some light oil down the inner sheath and it has done the trick. I've also lubricated the choke linkages.

I've made a start on removing the awful primer. This is going to be hard work but it should improve things.

The next thing will be to replace the carb mounts. The rubber ones are past it and I want to fit the solid ones from the TDC.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

All fixed now.

I've finally got my car back having just passed the MoT.

It went in the garage to have the subframe mount repaired. The inner wing provided a suitable repair section. The work necessitated removal of the subframe which was done leaving everything else in situ with the engine on a support beam. This saved time and a lot of grief. While the subframe was off, the subframe bushes were replaced with Super Flex items. A new steering rack which I had bought a few years ago was fitted with Super Flex bushes. The upper wishbone bushes on the front suspension were also replaced with Super Flex. The original deadline for Drive It Day in April came and went. The work was completed not long after the MoT ran out in July so it was tested and came back with a long list of failures most of which were caused by corroded electrical connections due to lack of use. The rear brakes needed freeing off an cleaning up and both bottom balljoints needed replacing. The rear section of exhaust was patched up and all this was enough to get through the MoT.

This is only the beginning. There are quite a few jobs that will need to be done.

The front wheel alignment will need to be adjusted because the steering rack has been changed so that will be out of kilter. This is going to be the first thing I do.
I want to replace the carburettor mounts. The TDC do solid ones so that's what I will go for.
The carb linkages need lubricating (through lack of use).
The exhaust will need to be replaced. It has been on the car for about 4 years and it was secondhand mild steel one when I bought it. The temporary repairs will see me through until I can get a replacement. I want to do this once so I'll source a stainless steel exhaust.
The awful paint job has to go. I reckon that some 2000 grit wet & dry should get rid of the pound shop primer I used last year.
I've been considering replacing the Sprint alloys with steel wheels. I've got the stainless steel wheels trims that early 1850s had and I've also got a set of the correct wheel nuts. I might keep the Sprint alloys and get them refurbished.

I've missed a few shows this year because the car wasn't ready in time. I can now commit to future shows.